The musicians, the audience with their traditional picnic hampers and tables, and the entire BSO team. They all agreed. It was great to be back in Meyrick Park.

The first Proms in the Park for three years was held on Friday night and the hugely popular event came back with a bang.

The delightful programme complete with the obligatory finale fireworks had something for everyone, music from the dance hall and the concert hall, from the opera and the ballet and from the big screen.

Bournemouth Echo:

And as if to emphasise the family nature of the occasion, the sight of two little girls dancing at front of the audience to the Blue Danube and another playing the air violin brought a smile to many faces.

The night was hosted by the BSO’s chief executive, Doug Scarfe, who told the audience it had been ‘such a long three years’ since the Proms were last held in August 2019, interrupted like so much else by the pandemic.

Under the baton of conductor Stephen Bell, the orchestra opened with the rousing march from Superman, a fitting tribute to composer John Williams in his 90th year.

Bournemouth Echo:

The greatest waltz of them all, The Blue Danube by Strauss was followed by Khachaturian’s equally familiar Adagio from Spartacus before Zimmer’s huge, epic score from Gladiator and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances.

In the Platinum Jubilee Year, it was also fitting that perhaps the two most rousing and patriotic pieces of music should open the second half, Pomp and Circumstance March Number 4 by Elgar and William Walton’s Crown Imperial, played at the Queen’s coronation.

A lively change of pace came with Rossini’s William Tell Overture (known more for having been appropriated by the Lone Ranger than for the exploits of the Swiss Army), the Mazurka from Delibes’ Coppelia and Arturo Marquez’ fabulous Danson Number 2.

Bournemouth Echo:

The grand finale was provided by Ravel’s Bolero, building into that powerful ending which always reminds those of a certain age of Torvill and Dean.

At the end of the breathtaking evening Mr Scarfe reminded the audience how the BSO has led the way nationally and internationally during the pandemic in bring music back to concert hall and more widely through the groundbreaking live-streaming.

He thanked the concert’s backers BCP Council and Investec and encouraged people to come and see the orchestra at Lighthouse Poole when the new season opens on October 5.

Now there’s an invitation.